UK postal operator Royal Mail has signed a six-year contract with Capgemini under which the IT outsourcer will act as a ‘services integrator’ for third party cloud computing offerings.
Capgemini will deliver any new functionality or services that Royal Mail wishes to add to its website by provisioning, integrating and managing cloud-based services from ‘pre-vetted’ suppliers such as Salesforce.com and Google.
Royal Mail will pay for this service, entitled Capgemini Immediate, partially on a pay-as-you-go basis.
In an interview with Information Age earlier this year, Royal Mail’s chief technology architect Stuart Curley lamented that the inflexibility of the organisation’s legacy systems – designed for an era when it enjoyed a monopoly on all postal deliveries – prevented it from adding new products and services. “IT is potentially becoming a serious barrier to that business transformation,” he said.
Curley said at the time that he saw cloud computing as the solution to this inflexibility, but added that he would rather deal with a single IT services provider than a number of individual cloud suppliers.
“I don’t want to buy cloud services directly from Amazon Web Services, and I don’t want to go to a systems integrator, who will build a custom system and host it in a traditional data centre,” he said. “I want to go to a ‘services integrator’ who will provide me with a given set of services and with a given service level agreement associated with it. I don’t care, at the end of the day, where the underlying infrastructure is.”